Cards with a Story

Discussion in 'Sports Card Chat' started by CamaroDMD, Apr 23, 2014.

  1. CamaroDMD

    CamaroDMD Moderator Moderator

    We all have cards in our collection that have a special story. I thought it might be fun to share some of those stories. So, if you have a card (s) with a story…share it here.

    I’ll start with one of mine. I was a huge card collector as a kid in the mid-1990s. There was one card shop in town where I would visit weekly and I became friends with the owner. I loved collecting Joe Montana cards as he was my favorite player, so that was the first thing I would always look for.

    Well, one day I went into the shop and he told me he had recently purchased a very special Joe Montana card and he was holding it so I could get first dibs. So, he went and got it…and it was one of my dream cards. Unfortunately, I was about 10 and couldn’t afford the price tag…it was around $200 which was the going rate at the time.

    But, since I was always in his store…he made me an offer. He told me, he would hold the card on layaway and if I wanted to slowly pay for it, he would let me do that. So, we agreed. At the time, I would normally go into his store with $20 to spend. My parents gave me a weekly $10 allowance and my grandma paid me $10 to mow her lawn every week (she had like a ½ acre lot so I earned that $10). The owner and I agreed that I would pay him $10 per week (the lawn money) until the balance was paid, this allowed me to still have $10 to spend.

    So, that’s what I did. Every week, I went in there and gave him $10 and we kept track. Eventually, I paid off the whole card and I got to take it home…and that was a very proud day. I had mowed a lot of grass to get it, and that made it all the more special.

    Today, this card isn’t anything special compared to the new products...but it's sure special to me. It is numbered /2500 which is by no means rare by today’s definition. But, when this card was new…it was almost impossible to find. It was at best one per case in those early 1990s days of over saturation.

    The card: 1991 Upper Deck Football Heroes Joe Montana Autographed Checklist /2500


    This card was the gem of the football heroes set. In the 1991 Upper Deck first series issue (the very first football cards produced by Upper Deck), they had a 9 card Joe Montana insert set. There was also a very rare autographed checklist card. This may have been the very first pack issued autograph. As a kid, this was a dream card…and I was lucky enough to find one.

    An interesting fact about the football heroes autographs of the early 1990s (UD issued 4, two in 1991 – Joe Montana and Joe Namath, and two in 1992 – Dan Marino and Walter Payton)…they lack an obvious certificate of authenticity on the back. Autographs today have a disclaimer on the back that say “This autograph is certified authentic by blah blah blah.” These didn’t have that, I guess it was just too early in card history and they didn’t think of it. However, because there was a non-signed checklist (which is FAR more common)…they did include a very subtle security feature. On the backs of all Upper Deck cards of this era is the UD hologram. On football cards, that hologram is oval shaped (like a football). But it’s not on these special autographed cards. All the authentic football heroes autographed cards have the diamond UD hologram on the back (which is found on baseball cards normally).

    So, if you are ever in the market for one of these cards…always check the hologram on the back.

    There is one of my cards with a story...lets see one of yours. :)
    Taliasen likes this.
  2. Leafsfan1967

    Leafsfan1967 Well-Known Member

    That is right about the diamond hologram on the back. I forgot about that, but remember that was how you could tell for sure. I have a story about that card. I got my buddy into card collecting not too very long before that UD Football set came out. One day we both went to the local flea market to buy some cards. There were always a couple card vendors there around that time period. He decided to buy a box of that very 91 UD Football, and I bought a box of hockey to open. We go back to his place, and he all of a sudden jumps up, and screams, and what does he show me? One of those exact Montana autos out of 2500. Back then that was a very rare pull. I think there may have been a Brett Hull Hockey Heroes version like that already out, but pack pulled autos were in their infantry. I tried to buy it from him many times, as I was a bit of a Montana, and 49er fan back then, but he wouldn't sell it. I don't see him that much anymore, but I will ask him if he still has it, or what he did with it.
  3. CamaroDMD

    CamaroDMD Moderator Moderator

    That's amazing...I had actually never heard a first hand story of these being pulled from a pack. They were that rare. That is awesome. I often wonder how many of these are still in packs as there are SO many boxes out there. Part of my has wanted to see if I could just buy some of the 1992 boxes in bulk and look for a Payton...but it's probably not worth it.
  4. CamaroDMD

    CamaroDMD Moderator Moderator

    OK, I will share another card of mine that has a story.

    In the year or two that followed me picking up that 1991 UD Montana auto, I decided that I should start setting aside some of my allowance to save up for a nice item that might come along. So, each week I saved a little bit of the money. Eventually, I had a couple hundred dollars or so saved.

    This was the mid to later 1990s and at that time, Mickey Mantle had really become popular again amongst collectors. He had always been popular, but following his death in 1995 and Topps releasing a bunch of reprint commemorative sets...his popularity soared. Well, I was at a very impressionable I was hooked and to this day, Mantle is among my favorite vintage players to collect.

    During this time, I managed to assemble a complete 1996 Finest Mantle reprint was a 19 card set that featured his primary issued card from his playing years (51 Bowman, 52-53 Topps, 54-55 Bowman, and 56-69 Topps). They were 1 reprinted card per year and it was the main base card. I loved the set and I dreamed that one day I might be able to have the original issues.

    Well, one day I walked into that very same card shop and peered into the display case. Inside, secured in a very large screw down holder, was an original Mickey Mantle. It was the 1966 Topps #50 Mantle base card...just like the card in my beloved reprint set. It wasn't perfectly mint, but it was a nice example of the card. Now, the 1966 Mantle is among the lesser valuable Mantle base cards but I actually think it is one of the more esthetically pleasing. My jaw dropped upon seeing the card, I was in love. Plus, I had the money saved....the price tag was $200 and I had a little more than that. It was like it was meant to be.

    Well, I'm 11 or 12 at the time...I don't carry $200 with me to the card shop, I probably had $10 in my pocket. My parents would drop me off at the shop for 30 minutes or so go do their grocery shopping and come back and get me. The only way I could buy the card was to have my mother write a check for it and then me give her the money at home.

    So, when she came to pick me up...I asked her to do just that. She looked at me and said that she felt like I was making a spur of the moment decision and that I shouldn't get it. She said I had worked so hard for a long time to save that money and it would be a shame for me to blow it on a whim. I tried to explain to her that it wasn't a whim, that I had saved so when I found a card I really wanted I could buy it...and this was it. She wasn't having it...long story short, we left without it. It sold a short time later.

    As the next few years rolled on, I became less interested in sports cards and more interested in other things. High school, and college came and went. But, while in dental interest got re-sparked in cards and I began to collect once again on a limited level. After working for a while as a dentist and making a little money...I decided I would pick up a Mantle or two.

    A short time later...I would buy a couple Mantle's. One...a very nicely centered 1966 Mantle PSA 6. It took me many years...but I got that 1966 Mantle I wanted as a child.

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